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A national conversation about "Our Singapore"

Published on Aug 26, 2012 7:29 PM
 
Minister for Education, Heng Swee Keat, 50, at the 5th Singapore-Jiangsu Cooperation Council Meeting at Shangri-la Hotel Singapore, Island Ballroom in this Oct 24, 2011 file photo. The new national conversation will be about putting Singaporeans first. Speaking at the National Day Rally on Sunday evening, Education Minister Heng Swee Keat gave more details about the wide-ranging engagement effort that he has been tasked with. -- PHOTO: ZAOBAO

The new national conversation will be about putting Singaporeans first. Speaking at the National Day Rally on Sunday evening, Education Minister Heng Swee Keat gave more details about the wide-ranging engagement effort that he has been tasked with.

He also revealed, for the first time, what this effort will be called. It's name: "Our Singapore".

He said: "This national conversation will first and foremost be about putting Singaporeans at the heart of our concerns. It will be an opportunity for Singaporeans to come together, and ask: What matters most? Where do we want to go as a country, as a people?"

In his 10-minute speech, Mr Heng added that the conversation needs to accomplish three goals: to reaffirm all that is good and relevant, to re-calibrate areas where the country has gone off course and to refresh and innovate by charting new directions.

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong announced two weeks ago that Mr Heng would be tasked to chair a committee of younger ministers to take a fresh look at the country's policies

This is the first time that the National Day Rally has included guest speakers. Senior Minister of State for Education and Ministry of Information, Communications and the Arts Lawrence Wong spoke first at 6.45pm. He was followed by Minister of State for Community Development Youth and Sports Halimah Yacob and then Mr Heng.